John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith, OC (properly /ɡælˈbreɪθ/ gal-BRAYTH, but commonly /ˈɡælbreɪθ/ GAL-brayth; 15 October 1908 – 29 April 2006), was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian, an institutionalist, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics.

Galbraith was a prolific author who produced four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. Among his most famous works was a popular trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; he served as United States Ambassador to India under Kennedy. Due to his prodigious literary output he was arguably the best known economist in the world during his lifetime and was one of a select few people to be awarded the Medal of Freedom, in 1946, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2000, for services to economics. The government of France made him a Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.

Read more about John Kenneth GalbraithPostwar, Works, Honors

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    An ... important antidote to American democracy is American gerontocracy. The positions of eminence and authority in Congress are allotted in accordance with length of service, regardless of quality. Superficial observers have long criticized the United States for making a fetish of youth. This is unfair. Uniquely among modern organs of public and private administration, its national legislature rewards senility.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    Hermann Goering, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Albert Speer, Walther Frank, Julius Streicher and Robert Ley did pass under my inspection and interrogation in 1945 but they only proved that National Socialism was a gangster interlude at a rather low order of mental capacity and with a surprisingly high incidence of alcoholism.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    Look Johnny, Spig just joined the Navy. I’m married to it. I run the mess hall. I swab the deck. I chip the rust. You’re afraid that they’ll kick Spig out of the Navy. I’m afraid that they won’t.
    Frank Fenton, William Wister Haines, co-scenarist, and John Ford. Minne Wead (Maureen O’Hara)

    The traveler to the United States will do well ... to prepare himself for the class-consciousness of the natives. This differs from the already familiar English version in being more extreme and based more firmly on the conviction that the class to which the speaker belongs is inherently superior to all others.
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